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Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Science |

Nasa discovers partner unique planets

Nasa discovers partner unique planets

The Kepler telescope discovered a pair of planets of very peculiar. One of them is small and mainly composed of rock while the second is larger and filled with gases. But these are not the characteristics that make them conspicuous, but it is their routine which caught the attention of NASA.

Both planets are very close, orbiting at a of about 2 million kilometers. It may sound like a lot of space, but it is the shortest distance ever observed so far between two planets. “How they got there and how they have survived is a mystery,” said Steve Kawaler, an astronomer at Iowa State University

The Kepler telescope is designed to detect planets orbiting stars using this tool astronomers have identified 72 planets and hundreds of possibilities of finding more. The newly discovered planets were seen orbiting a star named Kepler-36 in the constellation (swan), which is 1,200 light-years away from earth.

The smallest was named Kepler-36b and is rocky like Earth, but its diameter is 1.5 times larger and its mass is 4.5 times wider than ours. It is estimated that its composition is 30% iron, less than 1% of helium and hydrogen in the atmosphere and not more than 15% water.

Meanwhile, Kepler-36c is closer to Jupiter, its mass is 8.1 times larger than that of the earth and its radius is 3.7 times longer, although the center may be of stone, is covered by a large amount of hydrogen and helium in the atmosphere.

Kepler-36b takes 14 days to orbit its star, Kepler-36c takes 16 to do the same, on average, every 97 days, the planets are close to each other dangerously, something like 5 times the distance between the Moon and Earth.

Astronomers continue to observe this phenomenon because according to them, sometimes gaseous planets tend to move closer to its star and in the process, usually displace smaller worlds, but this has not happened in this case.

Link: Astronomers find planets orbiting Unlikely pair of star (LA Times)

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